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HOW DO I USE DNA IN FAMILY HISTORY?


Curious about DNA? Thinking of Testing?

There are a number of sources of information about DNA testing on the web, including Facebook and YouTube. Major testing companies such as FamilyTree DNA, Ancestry DNA and 23andMe etc have useful resources, including webinars.

The SAG has an Introduction to DNA Testing Webinar available for purchase through the SAG online shop, which will introduce you to using DNA testing as a tool in your research. Learn the basics required to get started: the types of tests, who to test, where to test, how to test, how much it costs, what you get and practical applications. If you would prefer a live event where you can interact with the presenter and ask questions we also run a quarterly online session called Beginners Introduction to DNA where attendees can learn all about the different types of tests, which companies sell them and what to consider before testing.

The Federation of Family History Societies in the UK has released a paper to help family historians understand more about DNA testing. While Australian laws may operate differently it contains some worthwhile advice and is included here courtesy of the Federation.   

Tested and want to know what to do next?

To be effective in DNA research you firstly need to be familiar with the evaluation tools provided by your testing company, and secondly be aware of some of the key concepts that underpin the analysis process. Testing companies such as Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA, 23andMe, My Heritage etc all provide a range of educational items to assist with their product and all new users should gain familiarity with the relevant testing company's site.

The SAG hosts lectures and group meetings focussed on practical applications using DNA sites and third party tools. Please check the Events Calendar for details of upcoming activities.

Want to dig deeper into your DNA results, expand your tree or break down a brick wall?

The SAG has two DNA Research Groups which you can attend to learn more about DNA.

Here is a list of upcoming DNA sessions 

Upcoming events

    • 24 Sep 2022
    • 3 Dec 2022
    • 3 sessions
    • Online via Zoom
    • 476
    Register

    Genealogical DNA Analysis Tool (GDAT) User Group

    If you already have DNA chromosome analysis skills and are using the GDAT database tool to manage your DNA information, you might wish to join our user group trial.  We plan to run 3 sessions this year and assess its feasibility for ongoing sessions in 2023.

    Sessions will be aimed at using the software, they will not cover the principles of chromosome analysis which are required to use the tool.  

    The three sessions will be centred around:

    • Getting started;
    • Genetic analysis tools;
    • Genealogical analysis tools.

    Sessions will include a short presentation on the topic, then questions and answers from group members.  They will be held on Saturdays at 10.30-12.30 on 24th September, 29th October and 3rd December 2022 using the Zoom platform.  We won’t be recording the sessions, so you must attend live.

    Registration will be limited, currently open to members who attended the 2021 Chromosome Analysis Webinar series.  If you did not attend the webinar series and believe you already have the requisite chromosome analysis skills, please contact education@sag.org.au with some dot points about your experience. 

    Please note: As this is a trial only members can register for the discounted price of three sessions for $10. If the group continues in 2023 the standard SAG Group price of $10 per meeting for members will apply.


    Skill level:
    Advanced DNA knowledge    Group Lead: Veronica Williams

    • 29 Oct 2022
    • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Your place
    • 496
    Register

    Receiving your test results is an exciting time but it can quickly become confusing. This session will look at the different types of tests available, which one is right for you and which companies do these tests. We will look at some basics to help you understand and interpret your matches and there will be plenty of time for questions so you can start finding those new cousins!

    This is an online session using the ZOOM platform.

    It will NOT be recorded due to privacy reasons, so you should only book if you can attend live.


    Skill level: Beginners     Presenter: Melissa Hulbert    

    Note: Members need to be logged in to the site to make an event booking.

    • 20 Nov 2022
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Your place
    • 22
    Register

    The Society of Australian Genealogists has donated 20 tickets to this course as a raffle prize for the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies "Riding the Waves of History" conference on 16 & 17 September.

    Purchase raffle tickets here https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing/912590

    About the webinar:

    Christine will share her "Top 10" techniques for working with AncestryDNA. This session is ideal for those who are taking a first look at their AncestryDNA test or thinking about testing at AncestryDNA.

    Demonstrations and case studies will be featured in the session. There'll be plenty of time for questions. Reference material will be available after the session.

    This session will conducted on through Zoom and will not be recorded. Participants should be available at the advertised time.


    Skill level: Beginner

    Presenter: Christine Woodlands 

    • 24 Nov 2022
    • 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • via Zoom
    • 480
    Register

    Ich bin ein Berliner: (Re)uniting five half-siblings from four different mothers

    We are honoured to have Michael Tobias join us from his home in Scotland. In July 2020, Michael agreed to assist a woman identify her birth father. DNA had revealed that he was Jewish. No-one could imagine the story that was about to unfold. Michael will give an overview of DNA inheritance and the impact of endogamy on DNA results and he will then show how he used the JRI-Poland database to create family trees based on the woman’s DNA matches. This is a session not to be missed as it combines the best of DNA and traditional genealogical research. 

    Presented by: Michael Tobias

    Skill Level: All

    Image of Spittelmarkt Berlin 1909 courtesy of Waldemar Franz Hermann Titzenthaler, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

    About the presenter: 

    Michael Tobias is a co-founder and board member of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (1995-), vice president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB; 2019-2022.) and President from 11 September 2022, Honorary Research Fellow-Genealogical Studies, University of Strathclyde (2020-) and former vice president of programming for JewishGen Inc. (1995-2018). He was database matching consultant for the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims. Michael received the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Lifetime Achievement Award in Washington, D.C., in 2011. He was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to the Jewish community in the Queen's 2021 New Year's Honours List.

    This webinar will be recorded so you can watch it live or watch it later.

    • 1 Jan 2023
    • 9:00 AM
    • 31 Dec 2023
    • 5:00 PM
    Register

    This is an expression of interest only to assist us to gauge the level of demand for this course. We will contact you with an option to register once dates have been confirmed.

    Need help with starting to solve your DNA dilemma's? Have you tested with Ancestry DNA and want to understand how to work with your results?

    Join Christine Woodlands and other members of the SAG DNA Discussion Group for a 15 part course designed to assist you to understand the information you can glean from your Ancestry DNA matches.

    The course will be made up of four modules and consist of a mixture of presentations, demonstrations, case studies and discussion groups.

    The first session is optional and is explained in the course outline, together with further details of the dates of each session and the description of the four modules. You can download the 2022 course outline by clicking here. This outline is indicative of what is included in the course and how the course is structured.

    The course will be presented online using the Zoom platform.

    This course will NOT be recorded.

    You must have access to results from an Ancestry DNA test to undertake this course.


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